Brazil vs Colombia Preview
Brazil vs Colombia. Both the South American sides have made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, but in contratsing styles. While Colombia has arguably been the most impressive side thus far, Brazil have struggled quite a bit and would not have ben here if not for the Julio Cesar heroics. Today they face the acid test of Colombia and it will determine whether they have it in them to win the tournament in their home soil, something which the coach and the fans would love to witness. Colombia, on the other hand, have eased past in all their matches are posing a big threat to the Brazil.
Brazil does not have the luxury of a fully fit squad. Till now, Neymar has been their most potent attacking force. But the Barcelona star is suffering from a thigh injury and is doubtful for the game. Even if he plays, he would not be able to be 100% fit and if the match goes into the extra time, like it did against Chile, it is not sure how much Neymar would be able to continue for the full length of the match.
Apart from Neymar, Brazil will have to depend on Fred, Hulk and Jo. All three of them have disappointed in the World Cup so far and not played as a unit. They have missed chances and not been clinical finishers. Brazil will have to depend on Oscar for the creativity that Neymar brings into the team if he is unable to take the field. The Chelsea player has also been in tremendous form and he would certainly like to carry it forward.
The other big blow for Brazil is the absence of Luiz Gustavo. The Wolfsburg star is suspended in this game after he picked up a yellow card in the match against Chile. He has been a rock for Brazil in the defensive midfield position and it will be a blow for Scolari. This will open a chance for Ramires and Paulinho to impress and in all likelihood, Scolari would go for Paulinho to partner Fernandinho in that position.
Colombia comes into this match with no injury concerns. They have been the surprise package of this tournament and they can boast of the finest attack in the World Cup. James Rodriguez has never let the absence of Falcao felt and he has come up as a revelation in Brazil, scoring 5 goals this far. The other important player for Colombia has been Juan Cuadrado, who has the highest number of assists against his name. They have conceded just two goals in the entire tournament and their keeper David Ospina is in fine form. Captain Mario Yepes has also been in fine form and guarded the defence with all his grit. It is expected that Coach Jose Pekerman should go for an unchanged eleven, which beat Uruguay 2-0.
Brazil vs Colombia Possible Lineups:
Brazil: Cesar; Alves, Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Fernandinho, Paulinho; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
Colombia: Ospina; Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero; Cuadrado, Sanchez, Aguilar, Rodriguez; Gutierrez, Martinez.
Brazil vs Colombia Match Facts:
- In the 25 previous meetings between the sides, Colombia have won just twice and the last time was 23 years ago, before James Rodriguez was even born.
- Brazil’s 15 victories include a 9-0 rout at the 1957 Copa America, a 6-2 drubbing in Rio de Janeiro in 1969 and a crushing 6-0 win in the same city in 1977.
- For every goal that Colombia have scored against the Brazilians, Brazil have scored five.
- Colombia are the second highest scoring team in this World Cup, behind the Netherlands, with 11 goals.
- The five-times champions have not lost a competitive match on home soil since 1975, when Peru beat them 3-1 in the Copa America.
Facts compiled from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
Brazil vs Colombia Prediction:
Brazil with the home advantage might just nick it off with a 2-1 scoreline.